Stephen A. Barnes


ATTORNEY | (713) 864-4000

Dr. Steve Barnes has lived in Houston since 1997. He joined the law firm in 2008 as an integral part of the firm’s litigation team. Prior to joining the firm, Steve gained litigation experience on both the defense and plaintiff sides of medical malpractice as an attorney and as a physician expert witness.

  • Undergraduate: Duke University
  • Medical School: University of Michigan
  • Surgical Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Surgical Fellowship: Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Law School: Harvard Law School

The aggressive nature of McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf has allowed Steve to gain trial experience in Texas courts at an even greater pace. These cases include devastating injuries such as anoxic-hypoxic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and permanent injury or death to the newborn or unborn child.

Steve’s experience as an “insider” in the world of medicine gives the firm an advantage when crafting innovative claims and litigation strategies that go beyond the routine medical malpractice lawsuit. That’s because Steve knows from personal experience how doctors, nurses, and hospitals work. Steve was integral in formulating a negligence per se approach to nurse and hospital defendants who do not adhere to Texas rules and regulations. He also helped develop the firm’s pursuit of the unauthorized practice of medicine or nursing and direct hospital liability based on non-existent, faulty, or unenforced policies and procedures.

And with Steve’s help the firm has extended its protective wing by filing for injunctions to protect clients and Texas citizens from future bad acts, going beyond demanding damages due from negligent acts made in the past. Typically, the firm asks for an injunction when there is an ongoing risk to client or public safety. This approach asks the judge to simply shut the negligent company down.

Steve also has trial experience in Drug and Medical Device Litigation, Personal Injury, Fraud, Deceptive Trade Practices, and Deceptive Insurance Practices.

Steve’s legal practice extends beyond medical malpractice. He currently acts as counsel for several Texas companies including tech start-ups. Thus, Steve also practices in the fields of business organization and transactions, contract law, and intellectual property law including patents and trademarks. Steve wrote his first patent application within months of joining McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf.

Steve has also represented individuals in real property disputes and other personal matters.

Dr. Barnes is a twice-board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist who trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital before joining the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1997. Steve continued treating Houston’s cancer patients until he decided to reinvent himself as both an attorney and physician. He still offers his surgical and medical skills overseas on charitable missions, including missions to Guatemala and El Salvador.

Steve is the lead author of both peer-reviewed surgical journal articles and book chapters. He has also presented his surgical research at national meetings. He currently assists Jack McGehee with the research for his yearly update of Thomson/West’s Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Annotated.

Steve is a Fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine. He is admitted to practice before Texas State Courts, the Southern District of Texas Federal Court, the Federal Fifth Circuit Court, and as pro hac vice in several states including Montana and Arizona. Steve is a member of numerous medical societies including the Texas and Houston Societies of Critical Care Medicine, and the Southwest Surgical Congress.

Steve received his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, the Houston Bar Association, and the State Bar of Texas. Having grown up in Wisconsin and Ohio, Steve loves all outdoor sports, including skiing, hunting, and fishing, and travels north often in pursuit of such activities.

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